Arctic ground squirrels – key to promising cardiac research

Dr Jinka's work switches hibernation on and off in artic squirrels © Sciengist

Arctic ground squirrels experience extremes during hibernation © Sciengist

The arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) is the largest species of ground squirrel in the world.

The arctic ground squirrel generally hibernates for 8 months of the year.

During hibernation, the squirrel's body temperature will drop, at times, to below zero degrees Celcius, their metabolism slows down, and their heart rate can be as low as 1 beat per minute.

Research involving arctic ground squirrels has enabled researchers to induce hibernation "at will".

During hibernation, a squirrel’s body responds in a similar way to that of a human during cardiac arrest

Tulasi Ram's research on hibernation gained world-wide recognition, a truly inspiring story © Sciengist

Tulasi Ram's research on hibernation gained world-wide recognition, a truly inspiring story ©
Sciengist

This research is an incredibly exciting beginning to a promising journey toward therapeutic hypothermia in humans.

Just this week, the neuroresearcher responsible for this ground-breaking research, Dr Tulasi Ram Jinka, has been awarded a competitive Scientist Development Grant by the American Heart Association (upon his very first application!)

Dr Jinka is getting ready to work with top medical schools in the United States (Harvard, John Hopkins and Yale Universities) and to play the role of global leadership in the areas of ‘Cardiac Arrest’ and ‘Therapeutic Hypothermia’.

This is, indeed, exciting news for cardiac and neuroscience research.

Find out more about Dr Tulasi Ram Jinka’s inspirational journey from humble beginnings, to a world famous neuroscience researcher and now to an international scientist specialising in cardiac arrest and therapeutic hypothermia.

 

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